Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Syndicated 'Sex' will run on TBS


TV notebook

Enquirer news services

An edited version of HBO's Sex and the City will be moving to basic cable next year.

TBS announced it had acquired syndication rights to the HBO series, which will end its run of original episodes early next year. Episodes will begin appearing on TBS in June.

Series creators have been preparing for a possible life after HBO, filming alternate scenes so a less racy Sex can appear outside of pay cable.

"There is an enormous, untapped audience out there that has never seen Sex and the City, which makes it completely new to more than half our audience," said Steve Koonin of TBS.

Sex and the City was the first cable program to win an Emmy Award for best comedy.

'SNL' adds Kenan

Nickelodeon veteran Kenan Thompson is graduating to the big leagues of TV sketch comedy.

The former All That regular and star of Kenan and Kel is joining the cast of Saturday Night Live as a featured player. He's the first performer from All That - which also featured Amanda Bynes and Nick Cannon - to move to SNL.

Comedian Finesse Mitchell, a regular on BET's Comic View and NBC's Late Friday, also joins SNL.

The show kicks off its 29th season with host Jack Black and musical guest John Mayer (11:30 p.m. Saturday, Channels 5, 22). Justin Timberlake and Halle Berry will also host early-season episodes.

Most of the regular cast returns: Fred Armisen, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Will Forte, Darrell Hammond, Seth Meyers, Chris Parnell, Amy Poehler, Jeff Richards, Maya Rudolph and Horatio Sanz. Chris Kattan and Tracy Morgan have left the show.

Start your engines

Add 24-hour car coverage to the list of cable channels hoping to find a new niche.

Wheels TV plans to launch in the first quarter of 2004 with a lineup of original and acquired programming focusing on cars, trucks and motorcycles - but not on competitive racing, the niche of Fox Cable Networks Group's Speed Channel.

"Wheels TV is all about our enjoyment of the automobile," said chairman and founder Jim Barisano. "That runs the gamut from the wind in your hair with the top down to safety and performance and resale value. We're more on the road than on the track."

The channel will cover topics such as technology, history and traffic. A sampling of shows includes Wild About Wheels, Muscle Car Crazies, Import Tuner Time and Auto-Biography.




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